On Throw Back Thursday (TBT)…
At this time of year most birds have stopped breeding and are starting to flock for the coming winter. Many of us have noticed grackle flocks and soon, I’m sure, we’ll see flocks of brown-headed cowbirds.
The fact that young cowbirds flock with each other is a miracle in itself. Every one of them was dumped as an egg in another species’ nest where they out-competed their foster parents’ young. Imprinting behavior says they ought to think they’re members of the foster species, but they don’t.
How do cowbirds know they are cowbirds? Click here to find out in this Throw Back Thursday article.
(photo of an immature brown-headed cowbird by Cephas at Wikimedia Commons. Click on the image to see the original)